You gotta have friends

It takes a long time to grow an old friend.”  ~John Leonard

All too often, we put our social lives on the back burner because we’re too busy with work or family obligations. Or because we think we have to pull out all the stops to entertain company.

Earlier this year, within a very short period of time, several of my oldest friends buried their beloved parents. With these losses fresh in mind, my friend Debbie (in the photo at left) and I made a pact to get together more often — and to keep it simple.

As the old Beatles song goes, we get by with a little help from our friends. But new research indicates that it goes much deeper than that: An emotionally supportive social network brings us several health benefits. This week’s column on Royal Oak is a meditation on the tender topic of friendship. It includes some new resources to help you cultivate, nurture, or weed out your own garden of friends. Please click here to read it. — CL

9 thoughts on “You gotta have friends

  1. This is a timely post for me, Cindy. Thank you for your words of encouragement on my latest post. It would be easy to get bogged down in disappointment if not for the support of friends.

  2. As someone who was constantly moving from place to place as a child, I found it difficult to make friendships of the lasting kind. It took me years to learn how much friendships should give and take, both to and from me and it wasn’t until I was older that I worked out some of what you’ve written about here. It’s an excellent post, Cindy. Thank you.

  3. Sharon and Elizabeth, thanks so much for reading the column. As Elizabeth points out — and as noted in the column on Patch — sometimes friendship isn’t easy, and there are things to “work out.” But friends are definitely worth it.

    The Patch column also mentions a current article in Prevention magazine that includes a “friendship quiz” — definitely worth the price of the magazine. 🙂

  4. I think the best friends are those who leave their back door open – the door to their kitchen, the warmth of their home. You never hear “I’m busy with errands” or “Let’s wait ’til it warms up” because their heart is always open and warm.

  5. I agree, Kathy and Cindy. Sadly, modern life often conspires to make it difficult to meet with friends. When we’re working, caring for our families, trying to keep the house relatively clean, it can be hard to justify taking time out to be social. But as I noted in the Patch column, that’s when we need our friends the most! When I am in a crisis mode — often lately — with tears of mascara running down my cheeks, I really need to be in the arms of old friends who’ve known my heart for a long time. There’s no better medicine.

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